GARDEN CITY, N.Y., DEC. 8 -- He did not like white people or Asians. Nor, according to four scrawled pages of notes police found on him after his arrest, did he like "so-called civil rights leaders," "Uncle Tom negroes," rich "black attorneys," officials in the Cuomo administration, the Workman's Compensation Board and, last but not least, his neighbors.
The man held in the killing of five people and wounding of 18 on a crowded Long Island commuter train Tuesday night appears to have been so pathologically bigoted that there was almost no one on the train against whom he had not sworn some silent vendetta, authorities said today.
For three long minutes, as the 5:33 p.m. train from Pennsylvania Station neared this Long Island town, he fired and fired, reloading his 9mm semiautomatic pistol twice before three passengers overpowered him as he paused to load again.
"I consider this an outrageous crime motivated by bias," said Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon.
The gunman, identified by police as Colin Ferguson, 35, of Brooklyn, was arraigned in Nassau County Court this morning in Hempstead and charged with four counts of intentional murder and four counts of depraved indifference to murder. He was ordered held without bail. Late today, the fifth person died of injuries suffered in the rampage.
After arraignment, Ferguson, a burly, short-haired man who police said is a native of Kingston, Jamaica, stared resolutely at the ground as police hustled him into a waiting car.
Later, Nassau County police told reporters that, during extensive questioning Tuesday night, Ferguson was quiet and unresponsive. "We didn't see much in the way of remorse," Mel Kenny, first deputy chief of detectives, said.
Police said they also found other papers Tuesday night when they searched a room rented by Ferguson in a small, two-story rooming house in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. Based on his notes, they said, the shooting spree seems to have been less random than it first appeared.
On what they termed his hate list is Adelphi University, from which he was suspended as a student for disciplinary reasons in June 1991, officials said, and which is minutes away from the Merillon Avenue station where Ferguson began shooting. The notes also state, police said, that Ferguson chose not to shoot in New York City because he did not want to embarrass its outgoing mayor, David N. Dinkins (D).
Ferguson wrote: "New York City was spared because of my respect for Mayor David Dinkins. . . . Nassau County is the venue."
Dinkins today called the gunman "a deranged person."
Police gave this account of the incident:
Ferguson boarded the Long Island Rail Road train in Queens, carrying a canvas bag containing 100 rounds of ammunition, including a large supply of hollow-point bullets that expand on contact to expose sharp edges and inflict maximum damage. After boarding, he upgraded his ticket to pay the higher rush-hour fare.
He sat without incident as the train crossed into Long Island, but as it left the New Hyde Park station just before Merillon Avenue, he stood at the rear of the third car of the 12-car train and began walking forward. He pivoted, then began shooting, first left and then right, as he walked backwards. He turned around again, walking toward the door to the second car, but then turned around again and resumed shooting.
As he paused to reload for a third time in a car filled with bloodied, screaming passengers, three men jumped him from behind and wrestled him down.
Two passengers shot in the initial fusillade "didn't have a chance," Kenny said. One passenger was shot five times, another three. Four died on the train, and the fifth, with a bullet wound in the head, died today in Nassau County Medical Center. Three of the injured remain in critical condition, and two people suffered non-gunshot injuries in the chaos.
"He was just firing away at random," said Robert Giugliano, a passenger shot in the chest. "I was jumping on top of people. People were screaming. Next thing I know, the train stopped, and the door wouldn't open. I got off under my own power and collapsed on the grass. My chest was out to here. . . . I thank God. I was one of the fortunate ones."
Adding to the confusion was the fact that when the train stopped, the doors of the front two cars -- where many of the passengers had run to get away from the gunman -- would not open. Long Island Rail Road officials said this was standard practice because the Merillon Avenue station is not large enough to accommodate a rush-hour train. In the frenzy and panic, passengers clawed at the doors until a conductor opened them manually.
Police said Ferguson had no known previous arrests or incidents and no known history of mental illness or drug use. He was not a licensed pistol holder.
According to officials at Adelphi in Garden City, Ferguson briefly was a student there, enrolling in fall 1990 after transferring from Nassau Community College. But after two semesters of studying business administration, he was suspended for disciplinary reasons in June 1990, they said. The Associated Press reported that it was prompted by an argument with a professor about a grade. School officials said he did not appeal his suspension and had not been heard from him since then.
Neighbors of Ferguson in Flatbush described him as a quiet, almost reclusive, man who lived alone, spent a lot of time working on his motorcycle and seemed unemployed.
According to the AP, he came to the United States from Jamaica in 1982 and became a citizen after marrying an American in 1986. He was employed briefly by a Long Island burglar-alarm company before being injured on the job and awarded a $21,000 worker's compensation claim.
"He was a respectful guy," said Merritt Grant, 32, a paramedic and neighbor. "You didn't hear him out there cursing and drinking. There was no indication that he had any violent nature."
Grant's father, who would not give his name, described Ferguson as "not a man who was idle. He was always coming and going."
Neighbor Carlos Mingot called Ferguson "a quiet man" who "never acted like he was crazy."
Some neighborhood girls said that, when they had parties, Ferguson shouted at them to be more quiet and threatened to call police.
Ferguson's handwritten notes suggested an even more troubled side, a world of deep paranoia and rage. In four pages of large-lettered scrawl, police said, he detailed people and institutions that he felt had wronged him.
Under the heading "Reasons for This," he listed New York City police and New York Transit Authority police in an apparent reference, they said, to a fight he had with a white woman over a seat on a subway. Elsewhere, under "additional reasons for this," he referred explicitly to the incident, writing, "the false allegations against me by the filthy caucasian racist female on the 1 line."
Another incident that seemed to have motivated him strongly, they said, involved his compensation claim after the job injury. He blamed the "racism" of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Workman's Compensation Board under "Reasons for This" and singled out "those corrupt black attorneys who not only refused to help me but tried to steal my car." He then named a lawyer, a law firm, the Legal Aid Society and the "court system."
Finally, he mentioned "those filthy swines" who also lived in his rooming house. They "are not my friends," he wrote. "Once they hear of this, they will loot all the evidence in my room such as documents and tapes. I hate them with a passion."
The dead were identified as Mikyoung Kim, 27, who died today; James Gorycki, 51; Dennis McCarthy, 52, whose son is in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head; Marita Theresa Magtoto, 30; and Richard Nettleton, 24.
Staff writer Pierre Thomas in Washington contributed to this report.
* Jan. 25, Langley, Va.: A gunman killed two and wounded three outside CIA headquarters. Suspect is still being sought.
* Jan. 27, Tampa: A man with a 9mm semiautomatic handgun killed three and wounded two in an office building cafe before killing himself.
* Feb. 8, Los Angeles: A man with a .44 magnum handgun, a .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol and a sawed-off rifle shot and critically wounded three doctors in a hospital emergency room before surrendering.
* July 1, San Francisco: A man firing a .45 caliber semiautomatic and a 9mm semiautomatic opened fire at a law firm, killing eight and wounding six before killing himself.
* July 8, Jackson, Miss.: A 32-year-old man killed three people in a bar and two in their home before wounding himself.
* Aug. 7, Fayetteville, N.C.: An Army sergeant, wielding two shotguns and a .22 rifle and complaining about President Clinton's policies on homosexuals in the military, killed four and wounded seven at Luigi's Restaurant.
* Aug. 10, Kenosha, Wis: A man who left a videotape praising serial killers and saying the world had done him wrong opened fire in a McDonald's, killing one and wounding two with a .44 caliber long-barrel pistol before taking his own life.
* Oct. 14, El Cajon, Calif.: Gunman killed four at a health club crowded with noontime customers and then committed suicide.
* Oct. 30, El Cajon, Calif.: Sniper shot for an hour from a second-floor apartment, killing two and wounding five before dying in a fire that engulfed the building.
* Dec. 2, Oxnard, Calif.: An unemployed man and failed congressional candidate fatally shot three employees of a state unemployment office and a police officer. Police later killed him.
* Dec. 7, Garden City, N.Y.: A man with a 9mm pistol opened fire in a Long Island Rail Road commuter train, killing four and wounding 19.
Sequence of events Tuesday night:
1) Gunman walks toward front of car, turns and starts shooting. Three die in this area of the car; some are wounded.
2) He continues forward, starts to go into second car, then turns around and fires until the clip of his semiautomatic is empty. One passenger dies in this area. More are wounded, bringing the total injured by gunfire to 19.
3) As he attempts to reload, he is subdued by passengers.
Yesterday: One of the wounded dies, bringing the death toll to five.
-- Compiled by Rachel E. Stassen-Berger
SOURCES: KRT Graphics, New York Daily News